"People who complain are gotten rid of": ASIC
 
Monday, 9 December 2013 11:00am
 
By Laura Millan  |  In Regulatory   
 
Financial Standard
 
 

A submission to the Senate inquiry into the regulator's performance provides yet another testimony of a culture of "cronyism and favouritism" which includes threats and harassment of employees.

The testimony comes from a former employee of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) who worked in the regulator's stock exchanges operation from 2010 to 2013.

The submission states that "many ASIC employees are too intimidated by senior management."

"Typical responses [to matters of concern] include: you don't do that here, people who complain are gotten rid of, I've seen things done here to staff and don't want the same to happen to me, they'll get rid of you, there's nothing you can do, it's the way things work here."

The former employee lists several examples where ASIC failed to act to companies neglecting to provide information or cases of misbehaviour.

In one of the cases, ASIC failed to provide a company with information to assist it to fulfill its regulatory obligations and therefore the company did not provide the necessary information.

"Senior manager response was to berate me for raising these concerns and to shout that 'ASIC didn't care about such matters and that another regulator could bother about them,'" the former employee said.

The person recalls that after raising those concerns, "some 54 versions of ASIC's final report were produced with input from five different staff members. Any issues of possible contention such as those I raised were written out."

The document also includes a case where the former employee was "reprimanded by for seeking this advice and my concerns used as a reason to place me on probation. To retain my employment I was directed to "improve" my handling of such matters."

 

Financial Standard